Skip to main content

GoGo Penguin

Biography

GoGo Penguin is a piano-trio from Manchester, UK.  Formed in […]
Read More

GoGo Penguin is a piano-trio from Manchester, UK.  Formed in 2012 its sophomore album v2.0 was nominated in 2014 for the Mercury Music Prize and in 2016, the trio signed to Blue Note Records, releasing a trio of acclaimed albums: ‘Man Made Object’, ‘A Humdrum Star’ and ‘GoGo Penguin’, as well as two EPS and a remix album ‘GGP/RMX’.   They were Blue Note’s best-selling contemporary instrumental artists and sold in excess of 300,000 albums.

Press Release

GOGO PENGUIN ANNOUNCE SIGNING TO XXIM RECORDS NEW SINGLE ‘ASCENT’ RELEASED 11th FEBRUARY 2022

  GOGO PENGUIN ANNOUNCE SIGNING TO XXIM RECORDS NEW SINGLE ‘ASCENT’ RELEASED 11th FEBRUARY 2022 © Emily Dennison Berlin, February 11, 2022  – Today, GoGo Penguin unleashes a joyful, uplifting new tune, which brilliantly captures 2022’s move-on-up zeitgeist.  Fittingly entitled ‘Ascent’, it’s the genre-defying Manchester trio’s first new music since 2020’s rapturously received fifth album, […]
Read More

 

GOGO PENGUIN ANNOUNCE SIGNING TO XXIM RECORDS NEW SINGLE ‘ASCENT’ RELEASED 11th FEBRUARY 2022

© Emily Dennison

Berlin, February 11, 2022  – Today, GoGo Penguin unleashes a joyful, uplifting new tune, which brilliantly captures 2022’s move-on-up zeitgeist.  Fittingly entitled ‘Ascent’, it’s the genre-defying Manchester trio’s first new music since 2020’s rapturously received fifth album, ‘GoGo Penguin’ and is the first to feature new drummer, Jon Scott.  The release of ‘Ascent’ also marks the beginning of the band’s new partnership with Sony Music Masterwork’s cutting-edge new XXIM Records label. Listen here

 

Says the band’s exploratory pianist, Chris Illingworth: “The composition takes its inspiration from the duality often found in the big events in our lives, moments which can simultaneously make us feel both loved and isolated, fearful but confident, proud and humbled.  ‘Ascent’ expresses the journey through these experiences in life, moving forward into the unknown, but with hope not fear.”

 

“The pandemic brought us many challenges, as it did for everyone,” says bassist Nick Blacka. “The main issue was not being able to tour but it did also enable us to reflect on the group as a whole.  It was a time of growth, a chance to remind ourselves of what’s important to us and to become more unified as a group and as friends and becoming stronger as a result”.

 

Jon Scott’s name had been the first to come up when the group was looking for a new drummer.   Nick Blacka had played jazz gigs with him when they were each starting out in Manchester years ago and they had subsequently often crossed paths, notably when Scott was touring with Ethiopian legend, Mulatu Astatke.  Says Nick Blacka: “After one rehearsal, a couple of beers and a pizza, we knew we’d found our man!”  Continues Chris Illingworth: “We had time to jam old tunes and try out new ideas.  The key thing that makes Jon a great fit is his appreciation of many styles of music and his confidence in combining and adapting elements from them to suit a given track, thus making something new and unique.  Things went really“ well very quickly, and we were able to get straight into the studio and make the most of the positivity and momentum.”

 

In December 2021, the freshly minted trio decamped to Peter Gabriel’s ‘Real World’ studios in Box, Wiltshire – a magical rural setting, surrounded by beautiful countryside and offering peace and quiet and tranquility.  Chris Illingworth notes: “It was just what we all needed at the end of a tough year and a great start to the new chapter with Jon.”

 

The first fruit of those sessions, ‘Ascent’, commences with a rippling rhythmic pattern which Chris Illingworth had already devised.  At Real World, the band experimented with other ways of executing it, eventually running it as a sequence on Nick’s Moog Grandmother synth, and then, as the track unfolded, with Jon picking up the beat – in Nick Blacka’s words: “replicating the feel of it but making it his own after the synth beat fades out.”

This combination of “the human and the machine”, says Chris Illingworth “will remain core to GoGo Penguin’s MO.”

 

Marking an all-new chapter in the bands story, ‘Ascent’ lays the ground for an EP to be released later this year and marks the start of the group’s new partnership with Sony Music’s XXIM Records label.   Says Chris Illingworth: “XXIM is a new label focussing on imaginative and innovative instrumental music which crosses genres so it feels like a natural home for us”.

 

Alex Buhr, SVP International A&R at Sony Masterworks adds: “GoGo Penguin has been an absolute trailblazing trio, playing in a league of its own. I couldn’t be more excited about the trio joining our young family of artists.”

 

The members of GoGo Penguin are now looking forward to travel restrictions lifting, so that they can unveil their reinvigorated chemistry around the world.  A couple of special and emotional hometown gigs in mid-January were well worth the wait and now expectation is growing, both domestically and overseas.

 

Notes on the band:

GoGo Penguin is a piano-trio from Manchester, UK.  Formed in 2012 its sophomore album v2.0 was nominated in 2014 for the Mercury Music Prize and in 2016, the trio signed to Blue Note Records, releasing a trio of acclaimed albums: ‘Man Made Object’, ‘A Humdrum Star’ and ‘GoGo Penguin’, as well as two EPS and a remix album ‘GGP/RMX’.   They were Blue Note’s best-selling contemporary instrumental artists and sold in excess of 300,000 albums.

The band composes and performs as a unit and the band members refer to their music as “acoustic-electronica”. Their largely (but not exclusively) acoustic music draws on break-bets, classical influences, jazz, minimalist piano melodies, powerful basslines, drums inspired from electronica and anthemic riffs.

When describing GoGo Penguin’s music, critics have frequently drawn reference to Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Massive Attack, Brian Eno and classical composers Shostakovich and Debussy, or contemporary minimal music composers such as Philip Glass.

GoGo Penguin has toured extensively internationally, performing at International Festivals such as Coachella, Outside Lands, Fuji Rock, Blue Dot, Montreal Jazz Festival, La Vienne, Pukkelpop, North Sea Jazz and many more and have sold-out venues across the world from The Royal Albert Hall to La Cigalle via Paradiso and Bowery Ball Room. In 2015 the trio debuted its own original score for the cult-film ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, performing the show to ecstatic audiences around the world.

 

FOLLOW GOGO PENGUIN:

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/gogo_penguin

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Gogopenguin

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GoGo_Penguin                                                                                       YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/GoGoPenguinMusic

 

FOLLOW XXIM RECORDS:

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/xximrecords​

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/xximrecords

Twitter – https://twitter.com/xximrecords​

TikTok – https://www.tiktok.com/@xximrecords                                                                                  YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/c/xximrecords

 

Pronounced ‘Twenty-One M’ and headquartered in Berlin, XXIM RECORDS is predominantly devoted to innovative, progressive instrumental music, offering a bespoke home to a new generation of artists whose work explores and integrates, among other realms, neo-classical, post-rock, electronic, and ambient sounds. At the heart of XXIM’s ethos lie experimentation and collaboration, with the ultimate goal of providing a solid platform for the creative development of the label’s impressive, international roster of unusually talented musicians. –  www.xximrecords.com

Press Release Download PDF